Experts appointed by the state government to study connectivity have recommended mass transport systems such as Metro and better roads to connect the Navi Mumbai airport to the city and adjoining areas.
An interim report on the study on connectivity of the new airport has suggested new Metro rail corridors, widening of the national highway at Panvel, building a coastal road from Nhava to the proposed airport and monorail routes to connect the airport to nearby areas. The study has also suggested a suburban railway network to supplement Metro rail lines.
“We are surveying new Metro routes and monorail corridors exclusively connecting the airport with Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan. We want to promote public transport rather than encourage private vehicles,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
The road connectivity too would be improved and existing roads widened. “LEA Associates is surveying the transport connectivity required for the new airport. We are planning a coastal road from Nhava to the airport apart from expediting work on the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link,” said TC Benjamin, secretary, urban development. The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link would connect Sewri with Nhava by a sea link; coastal road from Nhava would help Mumbaiites to reach the airport faster.
According to other findings of the survey, the non-passenger movement (employees working at the airport) would be more than the number of daily fliers. It estimates that around one lakh people would be coming daily to the airport and they would not be fliers, but employees of the airport, various airlines and people transporting couriers and mails.
Once the airport gets operational by 2014, it is expected to handle 1 crore fliers a year, which could gradually go up to 50 million over the years. The survey said people residing in the western suburbs are likely to use this airport more than those residing in the eastern suburbs or in Navi Mumbai and Thane.
The Metro corridors would be apart from the six Metro rail routes proposed by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco). The idea of having monorail routes connecting smaller regions is being studied.
Officials said the proposed eight railway lines connecting Navi Mumbai and Raigad areas would benefit passengers. A Metro line near a railway station till the airport would be a smoother ride for the fliers.